Auto blogger Alex Perdikis recently posed an interesting question: Is there a green car in your future? Sales of the current breed of green car plummeted last year, but surged since then. Industry experts by no means believe the plummet was a bad sign for the future eco-friendly vehicles.
In fact, innovative manufacturers are working on bigger, figuratively speaking and better green cars for the future. Here’s a look at what’s ahead.
“The future of green cars is
certainly not a straightforward path,
but a mix of technologies.”
Ford Motor Company: Where “Green” is More than a Marketing Ploy
When Ford introduced the 2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid and 2012 Ford Focus, both vehicles made it into Kelley Blue Book’s top 10 green car list. However, the green label went well beyond the normal environmentally-friendly norms. According to a Ford representative, the vehicles were 85 percent recyclable by weight. They were also constructed of materials that replace plastic inevitably destined for the landfill.
Eco-friendly is a not just a gimmick or flash-in-the-pan company marketing ploy, but a change in company philosophy. According to a Ford Company press release, “By making changes now in how our vehicles function, Ford is creating positive change today with an eye toward improving the future.”
Ford’s Not the Only Innovator
Ford is not the only innovator on the block. Most manufacturers manufacture green cars and are working on innovations for the future. Some ideas are on track to make an impact while others are fun to think about but have little chance of showing up at your local dealer soon, if ever. Here are a few of the ideas innovators are working on right now.
Chevrolet EN-V 2.0: It has two seats and looks a bit like a ladybug. It’s tiny, but that makes it that much easier to park. The EN-V 2.0 has a standard accelerator, brake pedal and steering wheel but also has cameras, sensors and vehicle-to-vehicle technology that enables the car to drive itself. Currently, the the EN-V travels around 25 miles on a lithium-ion battery and up to 25 mph. Obviously, this little vehicle is designed for driving around town and not long haul highway trips.
Volkswagen NILS: A Lightweight and small body are somewhat deceiving when you’re talking about the NILS electric. This small vehicle has a 20-horsepower electric motor than can take you 40 miles up to a top speed of 80 mph. The current iteration is a one-seater with a TFT display indicating speed, energy flow and range. Designed with the commuter in mind, it also, of course, has a portable entertainment center.
Toyota Fun Vii: Is customization important to you? If so, you’ll love the Fun Vii. Although no plans for production are in the works, at least not yet, this futuristic vehicle is not only green, it’s highly interactive. The exterior panels are touch screens. Feel like black today? Change the color on the panels with a smartphone app. Feel like personalizing the exterior? Upload your own image to Facebook and it’ll be on the outside of your car for the world to see.
Vii stands for “vehicle interactive internet” and that’s what makes the car easily customizable. The car drives itself and, best of all, when you’re bored the car can be instantly converted into a video game. Be sure to pull off the road before you play.
The Future of Green
The future of green cars is certainly not a straightforward path, but a mix of technologies. Electric, hybrids, plug-ins, hydraulic, fuel cell, biodiesel, green diesel, hydrogen and even improved fuel economy and emission reduction with gas are all possibilities as consumers demand green solutions and manufacturers innovate for the future.
Have you considered switching to a green car?
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